What I Have

Which is the key to my serenity.  As Americans we are taught from day 1 that more stuff equals more happiness.  Most people figure out this is a lie.  The key to happiness is having ENOUGH.  So then, the tricky part is defining "enough."  I live modestly, my "enough" dial is set low.  I have shelter, I have food.  I have meaningful work, family, and no past-due bills.  Frankly, I have more than enough, I am blessed beyond reason.     
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
18 Responses Feb 17, 2008

This would trouble me, if I were attempting to promote an all-encompassing world philosophy - but I'm not. I'm simply a guy who loves to talk/write - has opinions about virtually everything, shares them at the drop of a hat, and, frankly, is as interested in the style with which they are delivered as the content. I make no claim to understanding this world of ours, much less being able to explain it systematically - good grief - I can barely understand Frank Zappa!

Saw them too, The Lovin' Spoonful. "Custom made for a daydreamin' boy. And I'm lost in a daydream, dreamin' 'bout my bundle of joy." Don't get me wrong, the pedigree is nice, and the fancy education is very nice - it too is with you in the shower - but when the shooting starts it's what's in your heart and soul that will save you, not your head - much less the Bugatti in the driveway. -- Warning, you'll find that I do contradict myself. As Whitman said, "Do I contradict myself, very well then, I contradict myself."

your right Darlene, we had 6 children, it was a yours, mine and ours situation. I remember once my husband brought home a half a truck load of Lima beans home and the kids had some of their friends over to help us shell the beans ( I canned allot of our food ) our kids though this was work but their friends loved it ,we all sat around for hours shelling and chatting and laughing. We always tried to make it fun for the kids. My husband use to get the boys to work in the yard by putting change under things and have them find it. I didn't know about that one for some time the boys told me about it...

You're fortunate, grams. At least you had family to share to share it with, that makes it worthwhile.

Oh yes, I remember taking a vacation and picking produce that was in abundance in our area and selling it on the way to pay for our room... I use to carry my coffee pot and brew coffee in the rest room at a way side station. I use to cook on the beach when we went clamming and make spaghetti and clam sauce on a Coleman, my kids didn't know how much we had to struggle. We were having a great time . My husband is not with me now, he has passed, but yes, I can look back and call them the good ole days. Always remembering with a smile...

Fair enough.

no disrespect grams, but "life was a struggle for your parents & you were all happy" were you happy when you had your own struggles as an adult?

Funny, when people talk about the good ole days they refer back to times that were simple, I often look back and smile at the times when life was a struggle for my parents but we all were happy.

I should be greatful for all those things, strength, ambition and resoucefulness....yes, I do have them. Sometimes, I feel my strength waning & want to give it all up. It's my selfish pride that keeps me going.

It doesn't take much to make me happy either, EL. I know what you mean about consumerism and validation.

Be grateful that you have the strength, ambition, and resourcefulness to get out, and while you were in it, you didn't see it as insurmountable. It sounds loopy, but my challenges and trials have given me the most and taught me the most. Cruising through life on a pedigree and a fancy education never taught me anything at all.

This story reminded me of what I should be grateful for, something I haven't been enough of lately. Thanks Alligator, I needed to hear this. Though, is it ungrateful to want to be out of the hole your in, just to get to the surface of just having enough?

Some people have monkeys on their backs, AG has a little Italian guy with a brick oven on his. We all have our weaknesses I suppose.

There can never be enough pizza to satisfy my never-ending craving. You've hit the nail on the head.

AG: It is NOT easy to grasp. That's why. It is drilled into us that 2 dollars makes you twice as happy as 1 dollar. To be a card-carrying American you must sign a sworn statement to this effect. We define "enough" as "more than we have now." Ergo, we will never have enough. Think rats on a treadmill, chasing a piece of pizza always out of reach.

Thanks for starting the thread, buckaroo. It's a pet theme for me, mostly because I spent so much of my life wanting to be anybody but who I was. It was something of a trial to get to the point where I'd rather be me than anyone else. (Something of a trial. Oh dear God, I'm cracking myself up. Since you haven't read the book yet you're not in on the joke. Something of a trial. Let me ask you this. Do the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch look like "something of a trial" to you?)

Despite how easy this is to grasp, many people are stuck wanting way more than just enough.<br />
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Why is that?

My father used to say, "Enough is as good as a feast."<br />
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In the rooms we express this idea as a formula. Desire minus reality equals degree of happiness.